What Can My Pixie Frog Eat?
Pixie Frogs are named ironically as they are actually very large (males can grow up to 10"). Also known as African Giant Bullfrogs which suit their appearance much better these terrestrial nocturnal amphibians are native to sub-Saharan Africa. Pixie Frogs are very hardy frogs and also docile often not minding being handled by their pet human, they have a classic "frog-like" appearance and have voracious appetites matching their chubby rounded appearance. Being fun to look at and their friendly nature definitely contributes to their popularity, Pixie Frogs are one of the most highly sought after pets for those looking to get into looking after amphibians and those who are already experienced frog keepers.
Along with a healthy appetite, Pixie frogs are carnivores, they have also been known to be cannibalistic which is why it is not advised to keep more than one in an enclosure. In their natural environment, they are known to eat large insects as well as small fish and even small rodents and other frogs, they are not fussy about what they put in their mouths and are mainly opportunistic hunters, because of this it is important that whatever you put in front of them to eat is going to be a healthy option. In captivity, their main diet consists of live insects which have been gut-loaded and supplemented to ensure they get all the nutrients that they need.
There is no need to offer them any prey items such as mice or fish as they can exist very happily and healthily on insects and the larger prey items can pose more health risks than benefits. Their chubby appearance is no coincidence as these frogs are actually prone to obesity so it is essential that you provide them with a varied diet of insects that are not too high in fat, the variety helps keep their interest in food piqued as well as providing them with balanced nutrition that will help them live longer in captivity than they can in the wild.
How Often Should I Feed My Pixie Frog?
Baby (0-3 months) and juvenile (3-16 months) Pixie Frogs should be fed twice per day, as growing froggie amphibians they need the focus to be on growth and development which requires plenty of protein and calcium. Once they reach adult (16+ months) they can be fed once per day as the focus has moved away from growth and is now primarily maintenance of their health and lifespan.
- Dubia Roaches (Moisture 71.5%, Protein 21.4%, Fat 3.1%, Ash 1.3%, Fiber 2.6%, Calcium 700mg/kg)
- Fruit Flies (Moisture 69.1%, Protein 21%, Fat 5.9 %, Ash 3.1%, Fiber 2.2%, Calcium 526 mg/kg)
- Black Soldier Fly Larvae (Nutrigrubs) (Moisture 61.2%, Protein 17.5%, Fat 14%, Ash 3.5%, Fiber 3%, Calcium 9340 mg/kg)
- Superworms (Moisture 57.9%, Protein 19.7%, Fat 17.7%, Ash 1%, Fiber 2.7%, Calcium 177mg/kg)
- Crickets (Moisture 77.1%, Protein 15.4%, Fat 3.3%, Ash 1.1%, Fiber 2.2%, Calcium 275mg//kg)
- Silkworms (Moisture 82.7%, Protein 9.3%, Fat 1.1%, Fiber 1.1%, Calcium 177mg/kg)
- Mealworms (Moisture 61.9%, Protein 18.7%, Fat 13.4%, Ash 0.9%, Fiber 2.5%, Calcium 169mg/kg, Phophorous 2950 mg/kg)
- Hornworms (Very high water content) (Moisture 85%, Protein 9%, Fat 3.07%, Ash n/a, Fiber n/a, 464mg/kg)
- Butterworms (Moisture 60.2%, Protein 15.5%, Fat 29.4%, Ash 0.8%, Fiber 1.4%, Calcium 125mg/kg)
- Waxworms (Very high fat content) (Moisture 58.5%, Protein 14.1%, Fat 24.9%, Ash 0.6%, Fiber 3.4%, Calcium 243mg/kg)
You should never offer your Pixie Frog wild-caught insects, they can be contaminated with pesticides and also carry diseases and parasites that can seriously harm your pet.
How To Feed My Pixie Frog?
Since they are opportunistic hunters these frogs rely on the food literally coming across their path. You can use tongs to bring them their food and some will eat by h=being hand-fed that way. You can also put bugs in a bowl and they will snatch their prey out of the bowl. Some owners fill the bowl with water as they find it mimics their natural environment and the frog will snap up their prey from the water, this also has the added benefit of hydration.
Supplementing the insects that you feed your Pixie Frog is vital to their health, even though they get a lot of their nutrients from food it is important to ensure that they get all the vitamins and minerals they need. The three main supplements you will need are calcium powder with no vitamin D added, a calcium powder with added vitamin D3 and also a multivitamin powder. Younger frogs need more supplementation than older ones as you can see by the schedule below.
Calcium powder - 3 times per week
Calcium powder with D3 - 2 times per week
Multivitamin - once per week
Calcium powder - 2 times per week
Calcium powder with D3 - once per week
Multivitamin - once per week
They only need a pinch of supplement per feeding, and only one of their feedings should have supplements per day. Never give supplements on consecutive days and always leave one day per week with no supplements at all when they are younger. Older frogs should have three days per week with no supplements. See below for supplements you can buy for your pet.
- Repti-Calcium without vitamin D3
- Exo-Terra Calcium Powder without D3
- Exo-Terra Calcium Powder Plus D3
- Zoo Med Calcium Powder Plus D3
- Exo-Terra Multivitamin Powder
- Rep-Cal Multivitamin Powder
Gut-loading Your Feeder Insects
As previously mentioned, your feeder insects need to be gut-loaded to pass on vital nutrients to your Pixie Frog through the insects that they can eat. This can be done by feeding your live insects with salad items such as butternut/spaghetti/acorn squash, collard/mustard/turnip greens and more salad items that are safe for reptiles. Never use fruit as this is very high in sugar and never feed them anything that is unsafe for reptiles or amphibians.
To make gut-loading easier there are several commercial products available that have been formulated for this purpose that you can feed to your insects, then you don't have to worry about choosing the correct salad items for them. See the following products for some high-quality gut-loading formulated products for insects.
Water and Hydration For Your Pixie Frog
You should provide a large enough bowl for your Pixie Frog to comfortably sit in and a shallow amount of water, this will enable your frog to sit in and hydrate when it needs to. Clean out the water daily and especially if there is any poop in the water to keep it sanitary. It is advised to treat the water you use and you can use a dechlorinating product such as Zoo Med Reptisafe Water Conditioner in order to do this.